Posted By Dutch on January 24, 2012
Governor Romney’s promotes his tenure at Bain Capital as an example of his strength as a turnaround artist, rescuing companies like Staples and The Sports Authority from failure. He promises that if elected President, this experience will lead him to succeed in rescuing the US economy.
Governor Romney’s tenure as Massachusetts’ Governor begs the question as to his ability to translate success in business to success in politics. Former Utah Governor John Huntsman based his entire campaign on contrasting his performance as Governor of Utah to that of Romney in Massachusetts. The overwhelming majorities that Democrats had in both houses of the Legislature in Massachusetts during Romney’s time as governor present an open question as to what Romney might have achieved had he enjoyed the same conservative Legislature that Huntsman had in Utah. Ultimately, Huntsman endorsed Romney.
Nevertheless, the Romney campaign is experiencing a crisis right now. Having enjoyed front-runner status the entire campaign, except for one brief two-week period in December in Iowa, he has been able to fend off challengers with relative ease. Romney’s Super PAC combined with strong attacks from the Ron Paul campaign deflated Gingrich’s balloon quickly. Gingrich’s resurrection (his second within the same campaign) is even stronger than his first. Newt Gingrich overwhelmed Romney in South Carolina, and the latest polls show Gingrich’s momentum carrying him onward into a lead in Florida, where Romney once bragged about his double-digit lead.
Florida will be the first true test of Romney’s “Crisis Management” skill in politics, as opposed to business. Romney is no longer relying on his Super PAC to do the dirty work for him. He has attacked Gingrich’s record directly, both for his tenure as Speaker and for his “consulting services” to Freddie MAC. He has apparently abandoned his campaign strategy of remaining above the fray and appearing “Presidential.”
Romney has been forced to leave his perch, get into the ring, and personally mix it up with Gingrich. The question is does Romney have a glass jaw? While this bashing of one another presents great risk to whoever emerges as the GOP Nominee, that which does not kill them, will only make them stronger. This final, great battle for Florida and Super Tuesday between the remaining candidates may be exactly the trial by fire needed. Certainly, the onslaught of attacks being prepared by the Obama Campaign will be much worse. Romney’s ability to survive this crisis and come out on top may finally prove to all Republicans that he has what it takes to beat Obama; if not, better that we find out now, instead of November.